I wake up to an alarm on the iPhone 7 I make payments on because all my older iPhones stop working properly whenever a new one comes out.
(I bought in, didn't I?)
Anyhow, I wake up to an alarm on that iPhone 7 every morning. The Bedtime app.
The song is so soothing, I don't want to turn it off. There's problem number one.
Number two? There's a stack of notifications that reveal themselves after the alarm is stopped.
I can't help but swipe up and scan all the shit I need to look into at one point or another that day. It's just not fair.
My husband does the same thing. Every morning. The mattress shifts as he leans over to grab his phone off the bedside table.
The sound of it's dense aluminum body bumping the laminated wood wakes me more than my alarm does.
Donk, scrape. Donk, scrape. Every morning.
My alarm sounds. I turn it off then swipe up and skim the list I'll barely make a dent on that day. And my husband grabs his phone and dives right into emails, Slack, and his Twitter feed.
It's. The. Same. Thing. Every. Day.
Today, I tried to mix things up a bit.
Today, I turned off my alarm, rolled over and touched my husband's arm.
I went against the swipe.
Today, I got up and readied for the day like I always do. I just didn't swipe.
I suppressed the urge to swipe.
Rushing out the door with all three kids in tow, I felt wonderful. I felt fresh and unweighted by that annoying list of notifications I'll never complete.
Sure, we didn't finish getting ready any earlier than normal.
(That's what happens when an arm-touch turns into snuggling and sleepy-mouthed talking. Still worth the change.)
About halfway down the end of the street, the playlist still hadn't automatically turned on in the van yet.
Ugh. It hit me.
Stop and reverse.
"Mom," my oldest called from the third row seat. "What are you doing?"
"I forgot my phone..."
'How's your business going?'
'Fine.' I hate it.
My fingers are crossed, but I'm not sure if that's enough anymore.
They always end up letting you down.
It always happens in droves.
She caught me with the knife when I was sixteen, maybe seventeen.
There's no winning with blame.
Every time I think I'm getting better at this whole life thing, I do something wrong and set it back.
I like getting older.
There's something about with age and experience comes wisdom that's exhilarating.
I'll see this one through, I tell myself. I'll finish it.
After this, I'll put it to bed. After this, I'll move forward.
Something I learned as a visual artist and writer is that some of the best healing comes from expression.
There's something surreal about standing in front of a crowd of strangers—writers who all want the same thing.
At the end of the Writers In Paradise sessions, everyone got a chance to present a refined version of their submitted work, or a new story they were working on.
I was the only teenager at Writers in Paradise with Dennis Lehane, Sterling Watson and other well-known authors back in 2006.